When designing a commercial property, it can be easy to focus on the purpose and aesthetics of the space. These are important considerations, and both have a significant impact on the design. But, even the most well-designed, efficient space sometimes does not pass inspection or receive necessary permits if it’s not designed to meet safety codes and requirements. Our team has a collective 40 years experience. With that experience comes a knowledge of what is required to help a building pass all your inspections, especially in Lubbock, Texas.
Proactively thinking about potential building inspection issues that might accompany a remodel or having a complete checklist for a new building is most important in the planning stage. Having a plan in place to address all safety areas and code issues and the like will save time and money if thought about in the conception stage of a project.
When planning the design of your commercial property, how much thought have you given to safety? Commercial properties are required to have emergency exits, sprinkler systems, alarms, and exit signs, and a whole host of other features. Furthermore, it’s not just enough to know these installations are needed; you must also install them in all the right places. Knowing where you need the installation of sprinklers, signs, and other safety features beforehand keeps you from having to change your design later, potentially holding up the timeline to completion.
The BIM (Building Information Modeling) software that we use for all our designs allows us to look at every aspect of a building in 3D. We can easily plan out where you will need to place water lines for sprinkler systems, where emergency exits will be, and which walls will have fire alarms and extinguishers. This software also allows us to recall these plans quickly when necessary, allowing for adjustments to be made quickly and thoroughly. Adjusting and perfecting the designs in the planning stage means you won’t have to make them to construction later.
The maximum occupancy of a building can have a major role in its design. During the fire marshall’s inspection, he will use many different factors to determine how many people can safely occupy your building. If you think about it, for retail spaces specifically, the number of customers you can serve at one time is one of the MOST important aspects you should plan for. Not only is it important to think about how many people will be in your space daily, but how many people will be in it on a busy day, what kind of growth could happen in the future. Not thinking through all these scenarios during the design phase of your building can leave you with a space that doesn’t meet your needs and results in expensive, last-minute changes.
Exits and Layout:
Along with the consideration of your building’s maximum occupancy comes the need to know how many exits you are required to have. This number is determined by the size of your space and its purpose. We can help you know how many doorways, stairwells, windows, and emergency exits you will need to plan for, as well as where to place them so that you meet safety requirements. Additionally, taking special care to make sure that you not only have the right amount of hallways, doors, etc. that your city requires, but that they meet all standards, including ADA.
Another factor that can play a definitive role in safety is the layout. A building with a simple, straightforward layout is much more easily navigated by firefighters, police officers, and other first responders. In an emergency, the minutes saved by a more simplistic layout could help save lives.
Wise Planning is the Key
One of the most important things to note from this information is that proper planning can prevent costly mistakes down the road. Every commercial investor wants the design process to go quickly. We understand this and work to achieve it. But, we also realize the importance of careful planning. We will work with you to fully determine your needs and desires for any project, then coordinate these with our knowledge of safety codes and regulations. This time spent in planning will result in a more effective construction process later. Careful planning that keeps safety in mind could also save investors hundreds or thousands of dollars in the event of an emergency.
What questions do you have about designing a commercial space that meets the city’s safety requirements?
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